Touting – the buying low and selling high of inflated tickets for sold out events – is the the bane of any music fans’ life. Now, a Channel 4 documentary alleges that this process is continuing online, through ticketing website Viagogo. Ostensibly set up to allow fans to exchange tickets with each other, sort of like an eBay for tickets, the programme uncovered some very dodgy practices.
Staff apparently were buying up massive quantities of tickets from gigs announced, and selling them at hugely inflated prices. The number we’re talking about here? 50,000 tickets, for 50 acts, sporting events and musical events, including 9,000 Coldplay tickets, 3,000 for Westlife’s 2012 tour and 2,200 tickets for Rihanna’s. Tickets would go for up to £1,344 which puts the guy reselling an unopened copy Julia Holter’s Tragedy for a steep 60 quid on Discogs into perspective. There is no suggestion that the artists, venues or promoters were in on the act, which a manager at Viagogo called “really f***ing shady”.
Viagogo were understandably cautious to see this aired. Their High Court Injunction was beaten by Dispatches, however, and the programme will go ahead on Channel from 9pm GMT tonight.